Latest Rockland, Maine, weather
search sponsored by
Saturday, October 01, 2016
  • Temporary Assistance from Needy Families
    Since his election in 2010, Gov. Paul LePage has made no bones about his laser focus on routing out welfare fraud and cutting funding to assistance programs for the poor. During his first term, the governor capped the time families with children can receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: MaineCare Ride Problems Continue as New Broker Asks for More Money
    This past August, DHHS began working with new "broker" companies, which are now charged with arranging rides for MaineCare patients to appointments - the brokers don't provide the transportation, they just set up the trips with the transportation providers. The letter that DHHS sent out . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Governor's "Gag Order" Grinds Gears of Government
    Last week members of the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee took a special trip to Augusta to vote on a proposal to allow Maine's forest rangers to carry firearms. But when committee co-chair Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland) asked whether there was anyone . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Rep. Dion talks to empty chair - Governor's "Gag Order" Grinds Gears of Government
    Last week members of the Legislature's Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee took a special trip to Augusta to vote on a proposal to allow Maine's forest rangers to carry firearms. But when committee co-chair Rep. Mark Dion (D-Portland) asked whether there was anyone . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: $40 Million Committee Struggles to Find Ways  to Avoid Further Cuts to Municipalities
    "This has not been an easy morning so far," sighed Sen. Anne Haskell (D-Cumberland), chair of the Tax Expenditure Review Tax Force, halfway through this past Monday's grueling meeting of the task force. The committee of legislators, tax experts and business professionals . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Controversial New Rules Proposed for Metallic Mineral Mining in Maine
    One of the most contentious environmental battles that will be fought when the Legislature reconvenes in January will likely be over metallic mineral mining in Maine. In 2012, lobbyists representing the Canadian corporation J.D. Irving, Limited brought forward a bill to rewrite . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: 400 Bills Proposed for Next Session, 300 Rejected
    During the second regular session of the Legislature, which begins in January, generally only a fraction of the bills proposed by legislators are accepted for a public hearing. This year was no exception. Last Wednesday, the Legislative Council, the administrative arm of the Legislature made up of leadership from both parties, voted to accept just a quarter of the bills submitted for review. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: A Look at Some New State Laws
    When you have divided government as we have now in Augusta - with a Democratic majority in the Legislature and a Republican governor - action on anything doesn't come easy and deadlock often rules the day. As we saw in the legislative session that ended in June, there weren't a lot of big policy changes this year. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Midcoast Legislators Slip in Bills for Upcoming Short, Second Session
    On Wednesday, October 30, the Legislative Council, which is the Legislature's administrative body made up of leaders from both parties, will begin to review the bills submitted for the second regular session. During the first session of a two-year term, the Maine Legislature has a policy of allowing each one of the thousands of proposed bills to have a public hearing and a . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: New, Out-of-State MaineCare Ride Broker Continues to Strand Elderly and Infirm in the Midcoast
    Last month, when horror stories emerged of stranded elderly and sick people unable to make it to doctor appointments due to a snafu in the state's new MaineCare ride brokering system, the Department of Health and Human Services promised a swift turn-around. However, according to patients, drivers and local social service agencies, there's been little improvement so . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Legislature to Bring Back Renewable Energy Bills; $40 Million Committee Meets to Stave Off Maine's Own Budget Sequester
    The Legislature's Energy, Utilities, and Technology Committee will meet on Friday, September 20, to discuss Maine's renewable energy policies. Last spring, the committee decided to put most of the proposed renewable energy bills . . . . A commission charged with finding $40 million in savings in the state budget to prevent further cuts in revenue sharing to towns and cities will hold its first meeting on Monday, September 16, in Augusta. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Food Sovereignty Movement Takes Root in Maine
    Last spring the Maine Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (ACF) Committee became the center of an emotional debate over the future of the state's food policy. On one side were farmers and local-food advocates who believe that the government, in league with big agribusiness, has hampered the growth of small farms with one-size-fits-all regulations. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Governor Orders Creation of Policy to Cover Use of "Drones"
    Last week Governor LePage signed an Executive Order directing the Commissioner of Public Safety to come up with a policy governing the use and operation by law enforcement of . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Governor and Democrats Agree to Bond Package
    Last week, after yet another spat over borrowing proposals, legislative leaders and Governor LePage agreed on a $149.5 million bond package to send to voters this November. This Thursday, August 22, the Legislature's Appropriations and Financial Affairs (AFA) Committee is expected to approve the proposal, which includes $76 million for highways and bridges . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Legislature Goes Big for Natural Gas
    When the Governor's Energy Office Director Patrick Woodcock talks about Maine's new energy policy, he tells a story about one of the first calls he took on the job during the middle of a cold snap in January. An elderly veteran was on the phone, explaining that it was the first time he had ever called the state to ask for any assistance. He didn't have the money to pay for the minimum . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Credit Unions Lead Charge on Weakening Maine's Foreclosure Laws, AG Calls for Study Group
    Back in early May, as the Maine Legislature's Judiciary Committee sat through a six-hour public hearing on seven bills addressing Maine's foreclosure laws, New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was preparing to slap Bank of America and Wells Fargo with a lawsuit for violating the terms of the $25 billion National Mortgage Settlement. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Legislators Reflect on Gridlock in Augusta
    With the first regular session of the 126th Legislature behind us, much ink has been spilled over who the winners and losers were. For majority Democrats, who were swept back into office last fall on a campaign opposing Governor LePage's agenda, there has been little to celebrate. While they were able to water down the governor's $425 million cuts in funding to towns and . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Maine Legislature Adjourns After an Acrimonious "Veto Day"
    Late Tuesday night, on the last day of session, tempers in the House chamber flared and partisan manuevering took over the legislative process. As the night wore on, even the most innocuous bills became fiercely partisan as veto after veto was upheld by the Republican minority and Republican bills were threatened defeat by Democrats in retribution. . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: As Legislative Session Winds Down, Veto Spree Continues
    Late last Thursday night the Legislature took a recess after a long, turbulent session that was marked by bitter power struggles pitting conservative Republican Governor Paul LePage against Democrats and even moderate members of his own party. As of now, Governor LePage has vetoed over 50 bills, smashing the all-time record of 44 vetoes set by former . . .
  • Eye on Augusta: Run-Off Elections Fail, Coyote Trapping Bill Dies, Turkey Hunting Expansion Passes
    In recent years, support has surfaced for run-off elections in Maine. Under such a system, the winning candidate would be required to receive a majority of the votes rather than a plurality. For instance, in three out of the past five gubernatorial elections, the winner was elected with less than 40 percent of the vote due to the increased presence of third-party and independent . . .
12